Participating restaurants and other businesses in the Commercial Food Scrap Pilot Program can set aside their plate scrapings, fruit and vegetable trimmings, coffee grinds and filters, tea bags and food-soiled paper for pickup by Davis Waste Removal (DWR), which will take the material to a compost facility. The project was supposed to begin on March 1, 2011, was delayed until May in order to have enough participation to make the pilot program worthwhile.

The project began May 16, 2011 with food scraps carts being emptied twice a week, Monday and Wednesday. Davis Waste Removal brings the food scraps to a local composting facility.

For many businesses that produce a substantial amount of compostables, participation in this program will reduce costs overall because they will pay less for garbage pickup. Businesses can request a free waste assessment from city recycling program staff members to ensure that as much material as possible is being diverted from the trash by recycling and composting.

Participants must be in the city of Davis, produce at least 130 gallons of food scraps each week and have access to a secure area to keep a food scrap cart or carts. Interested businesses are asked to call DWR at (530) 756-4646 to sign a subscription card and be enrolled in the pilot project. The deadline for sign-ups was April 28. At this point however, businesses are still encouraged to sign-up. The pilot program was scheduled to run through Dec. 31, 2011 (unchanged, despite the delay in launch), after which the city and DWR will assess whether a larger commercial program is feasible. As of October 2013, the pilot is still continuing.

Anyone who feels that diversion of a potential resource from landfills would be positive could lobby their favorite restaurant, food store with kitchen, or food service-in-an-institution (as long as they are in the City, and thus served by DWR), to encourage them to pay for the pilot service.Originally, this pilot needed to have a certain number of businesses signed up in order to happen, but Davis Waste Removal decided to run the program anyways.

As of May 11, 2011, the following businesses have signed up to be part of the pilot:

As of February 2012, these businesses have joined the pilot too: